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1549 replies to this topic

#1541 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted July 3 2019 - 5:44 PM

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A curious observation. I rotate the protein source for my colonies (freeze-dried mealworms, flightless fruit flies, raw chicken, raw beef, raw pork, apple slices, banana slices). I got a supply of live mealworms today and fed all 3 colonies. I didn’t cut up the mealworms but used a dull blade to score their exoskeleton is several places while killing them, then placed them in feeding dishes. Workers from my two C. pennsylvanicus colonies tore into the mealworms while the C. americanus colony paid little attention to their potential meal. After 30 minutes I used a blade to cut into the mealworm’s exoskeleton to expose its internal structures, then the C. americanus got cracking. They dismembered the mealworm and took it into the nest piecemeal (I was hoping to avoid this by not cutting the mealworm into pieces at first).

My observation; C. pennsylvanicus seems to be the more aggressive omnivore. Across two different colonies, four or five workers attacked the mealworm and then fed the colony while 1 or 2 C. americanus workers broke apart the mealworm only after I’d cut out a section of its exoskeleton. Only with its “flesh” exposed did the C. americanus show an interest in the mealworm. C. americanus seemed less interested in subduing a mortally wounded insect for food than C. pennsylvanicus. Anyone else notice this behavior or am I making something out of nothing?
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#1542 Offline fmoreira60 - Posted July 13 2019 - 7:48 AM

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I somewhat also experience that. My americanus colony also don't always go for the meal worm right away while my nova just attack it. Sometimes my americanus just ignore the food. Just an observation.


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#1543 Offline noebl1 - Posted August 15 2019 - 4:10 PM

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FYI there's an interesting theory being tested that older Camponotus colonies have a symbiotic bacteria that they need to survive long term.  Lab testing showed that they need NH2 in survive as it converts it to amino acids.  The older colonies of Camponotus eventually fails as in our home environments, they aren't getting the NH2 they need.  In the wild they are believed to feeding on bird droppings. This was from a talk a couple weeks ago from one of the USDA insect experts deciphering a published paper for us on the Ants & Ant-Keeping discord server.  Right now there's a handful of members trying out using urine (yes pee) in feeders in colonies that are 2-3 years old, and observing they are feeding heavily on the pee.  Pretty cool stuff :)

 

Pretty status quo here, somehow I seem to be missing the Aphaenogaster flights this season, not sure how.  Hopefully soon :)


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#1544 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted August 20 2019 - 7:17 PM

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FYI there's an interesting theory being tested that older Camponotus colonies have a symbiotic bacteria that they need to survive long term.  Lab testing showed that they need NH2 in survive as it converts it to amino acids.  The older colonies of Camponotus eventually fails as in our home environments, they aren't getting the NH2 they need.  In the wild they are believed to feeding on bird droppings. This was from a talk a couple weeks ago from one of the USDA insect experts deciphering a published paper for us on the Ants & Ant-Keeping discord server.  Right now there's a handful of members trying out using urine (yes pee) in feeders in colonies that are 2-3 years old, and observing they are feeding heavily on the pee.  Pretty cool stuff :)
 
Pretty status quo here, somehow I seem to be missing the Aphaenogaster flights this season, not sure how.  Hopefully soon :)

Any way you could throw up a link to the paper that was discussed?

#1545 Offline noebl1 - Posted August 21 2019 - 4:47 PM

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Any way you could throw up a link to the paper that was discussed?

 

 

I asked him tonight, he works at the USDA (he may be here on FC, not sure), he said "It's from a conversation I had with the author one obe of the sequencing efforts for Blochmannia combined with her observations We took from the nutritional upgrading paper"

 

https://en.wikipedia...iki/Blochmannia

 

They are pretty excited about the experiment, I'll share as I know more :) 


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#1546 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted August 22 2019 - 8:24 PM

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Noebl1, Interesting stuff! If Blochmannia is in a symbiotic relationship with C. pennsylvanicus, the founding queen would have it in her gut already right? She’d pass it to her nanitics through trophallaxis and the same mechanism would spread it to the colony at large. Does the Blochmannia deplete over time? Does it need to be replenished?

#1547 Offline noebl1 - Posted August 23 2019 - 7:38 AM

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Noebl1, Interesting stuff! If Blochmannia is in a symbiotic relationship with C. pennsylvanicus, the founding queen would have it in her gut already right? She’d pass it to her nanitics through trophallaxis and the same mechanism would spread it to the colony at large. Does the Blochmannia deplete over time? Does it need to be replenished?

 

 

The idea is that the Blochmannia eventually die overtime, and then as a result the Camponotus slowly die off as well.  They are using urine for the testing, but some have observed them harvesting certain bird droppings as well.  In areas where not a lot of birds, lizard droppings are also suspected sources of NH2.


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#1548 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 23 2019 - 3:06 PM

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Would feeding wild caught ants to a colony be a way of exposing them to these probiotic bacteria? That would obviosly have risks of its own, though.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#1549 Offline noebl1 - Posted August 23 2019 - 3:33 PM

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Would feeding wild caught ants to a colony be a way of exposing them to these probiotic bacteria? That would obviosly have risks of its own, though.

 

Funny you mention that, people wondered if that may help too... though has other challenges like risk of mite exposure, etc.  One thought was you may be able to use a wild ant to rekick the bacteria if they fail, and then begin supplemental NH2 feeding.  Still VERY early in their experimenting for sure.  I thought it was interesting as ConcordAntman and fmoreira60 were talking about their Camponotus.

 

I got a couple Pogonomyrmex occidentalis now that legal to ship in the US.  One from Colorado is doing great, second one from California isn't doing too well, looks like she was damaged during shipping and looks to be slowly dying :( 

 

Also put in a couple permits with the USDA as well to try to get a couple ants, one from NM, another from FL.  One of the other members from NM got a permit approved for C. pennsylvanicus, so sending some down to him as I had a few extras from some weird July 21/22/23 flights.  If my permit is approved, he's sending me up some C. fragilis as he also has a ton of them. 



#1550 Offline ConcordAntman - Posted August 23 2019 - 5:58 PM

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What about feeding our colonies foods high in amines? After your link, I searched for amine rich foods. Oddly enough, the most reliable source I came up with was this pamphlet on low amine diets. It highlights the foods rich in amines though. http://www.wch.sa.go..._Amine_Diet.pdf





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